Writer: Karin Howard (Screenplay) Michael Ende (Novel)
Starring: Jonathan Brandis, Kenny Morrison, Clarissa Burt, John Wesley Shipp, Martin Umbach, Alexandra Johnes
Plot: A young boy with a distant father enters a world of make-believe and magic through a portal within an antique book.
Tagline – Begin an all new adventure as a young boy returns to a world of wonder on the wings of his imagination.
Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Nice Addition to the World
Story: The Never-Ending Story Part II: The Next Chapter starts as Bastian (Brandis) is back in the real world and struggle to overcome his fears while his father remains distant from him. He returns to the book story where he learns that books are different second time around, which leads him to borrow the Neverending Story again, this time he gets taken into the book, where they need his help in Fantasia again.
With Xayide (Burt) taking over the world, the Childlike Empress (Johnes) is imprisoned and now Atreyu (Morrison) joins Bastian on the quest to save Fantasia and free the Childlike Empress.
Thoughts on The Never-Ending Story Part II: The Next Chapter
Characters – Bastian still feeling isolated in the real world, resorts back to the Neverending Story, this time he gets taken into the world where he must complete the quest to save the world, his wishes could bring an end to both worlds though. Atreyu is the warrior that joins Bastian, this time he doesn’t seem as strong as last time almost taking second fiddle to Bastian. Xayide is the evil ruler looking to take control of Fantasia by letting Bastian use the wishes to be his undoing.
Performances – Jonathan Brandis does a better job as Bastian this time, this is partly because he is part of the world this time too instead of the character just reading the tale. Kenny Morrison does well with his version of Atreyu, even though he doesn’t get the strong moments the last actor had the chance too. Clarissa Burt fits the beautiful villain eager to rule the land.
Story – The story plays into the idea that books can be different on the second reading, which shows us how Bastian can go on a second adventure that is different than the last, it might have the same consequences if he doesn’t succeed, but it does show us just where an imagination can go. There is a deeper meaning about needing to not take wishes for granted and is a good continuation to the neverending story world.
Adventure/Family/Fantasy – The adventure continues this time with Bastian entering the world and the fantasy world needs saving once again, which is why Bastian goes on the adventure.
Settings – The world looks great again, showing us how the busy lives can be changed once you enter into a book to escape the world you live in.
Special Effects – The effects are fine, for the time they would have bee considered good, but sadly they have dated in places.
Final Thoughts – This is a good addition to the world of the Neverending story, it has an important message about wish making, eve if the film ends up following a similar formula.
Overall: Good addition to the saga.